Utah Tempts Vaccine-Hesitant Residents With Large Pile Of Ground Beef

A local meat company is offering a beefy sweepstakes in partnership with a Utah health department.

It's late summer in Utah. The bighorn sheep are lazing about, the Real Housewives of Salt Lake City are fanning themselves with loose diamonds, and the hazy air carries the unmistakably romantic scent of... raw ground beef. That's because Utah health authorities are making unvaccinated locals an offer they can't refuse: five pounds of free ground beef, plus the chance to win free meat for a year, for anyone who gets vaccinated at one of two northern Utah COVID-19 vaccination clinics.

Local news source KUTV reports that JBS Foods, the massive meat company behind a local meatpacking plant, is donating the meat in partnership with Utah's Bear River Health Department. Titled "Your Shot at Free Meat for a Year," the sweepstakes means that one lucky winner from each of the two clinics will score free beef, pork, and poultry for a family of four for a year.

"Every Covid-19 vaccine received will help keep our team members and our community safe and healthy," Darren Olsen, JBS Hyrum plant manager, told KUTV. "This sweepstakes is a great incentive to encourage everyone to come out and do their part to help put an end to the pandemic."

The announcement of this sweepstakes may be partly due to the relatively low vaccination rate at JBS' Hyrum, Utah, meatpacking plant, which will donate the meat in question. Per KUTV, only about 65% of the plant's employees have been vaccinated so far, lagging behind the national workforce's approximate vaccination rate of 70%. Will the promise of free meat be enough to entice vaccine-hesitant populations? Will juicy, succulent ground beef promote vaccination where thousand-dollar lotteries have failed? Five pounds of ground beef is certainly more tangible than the distant possibility of winning money, so the results could be intriguing. Let the beefy games begin.